I bought this book because I enjoyed Gary Shteyngart's previous book Absurdistan so much. Unfortunately I didn't like Super Sad True Love Story nearly as much. I felt that it lacked much of the biting satirical humor of Absurdistan and was mostly just depressing. I found the characters unlikable, and the mood of the book was sort of a cross between "1984" and the most annoying/depressing aspects of a Woody Allen movie.
This book was so well reviewed, and my lifelong friend is the daughter of Indian immigrants, so I thought I would really enjoy the story. Unfortunately I have to agree with several other reviewers who said the book was about nothing. There appeared to be no other issue to the story than the fact that the main character was embarrassed about his name. I kept waiting for something to happen that was not completely mundane. I like a very wide variety of books and never stop reading a book just because it doesn't grab me right away, but this was just painful. I actually find it kind of humorous that so many people loved this book and I think it's just awful. I feel like someone who goes to an art gallery to see some "amazing" painting that everyone is raving about, only to discover it's just a blank white canvas on display!
I absolutely love China Mieville. Perdido Street Station is one of my favorite books. I loved the story with Kraken but the plot is so complicated and there are so many characters that this is a real challenge as an audio book. I found I tended to get confused a lot about who, what, when, where. It definitely requires your full attention. Since I already have it in audio I will listen to it again, but I think it would probably be better enjoyed in regular book format.
The title and reviews made this book sound more interesting than it turned out to be. I heard about it on NPR and so purchased it. I was hoping for more interesting stories about how insects have affected history or changed humanity, but it felt more like a dry recital of facts most of the time. I did not finish listening to the book as I grew bored with it.
Rob Lowe does a great job telling his own story. I usually prefer fiction but this was a very interesting autobiography, possibly because I remember many of the events that happened to him and was interested in his back story. Now when I see him appear in a TV or movie role, I have a new perspective and appreciation of him.
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